The great philosopher Nelly once said, “Hey, must be the money,” and this list of NCAA coaching salaries illustrates those words perfectly.
USA Today released its list of 2016 NCAA football coaching salaries Monday, and three Big Ten coaches are among the highest paid coaches in the nation. The list, which can be read here, lists Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh as the highest paid coach in the nation.
According to the list, Harbaugh is to earn over $9 million in total this season coaching the Michigan Wolverines, cementing him as college football’s highest paid coach. Comparing that to professional football, the two highest paid NFL coaches in 2016 are Sean Payton and Pete Carroll; Both are slated to make $8 million this season before incentives according to Oregonlive media.
Immediately following Harbaugh is Alabama’s Nick Saban, who will earn $6,939,395 million, and Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, Harbaugh’s Big Ten counterpart. Meyer is slated to make just over $6 million in 2016.
Penn State’s James Franklin rounds out the top 10 of the highest paid coaches in NCAA football, making $4.5 million. Behind Franklin is Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz, who signed a contract extension last September and will make the same as $4.5 million as Franklin.
However, Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst proves spending money has little correlation with success, as his Badgers are 5-2 this season and ranked at No. 11. Chryst will make $2.7 million in 2016 compared to the $9 to $4.5 million salaries the top four Big Ten coaches will make.
The lowest-paid Big Ten coach is Minnesota’s Tracy Claeys, who will make $1.4 million in the 2016 season.
Furthermore, this graph, also by USA Today, illustrates the average salary for football coaches in each conference.
Hiring a college football coach is expensive.
— USA TODAY Sports (@USATODAYsports) October 26, 2016
The Big Ten comes in second only to the SEC, who has four of the highest-paid college football coaches.